ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Floods are widespread throughout the nation, with Hurricane Matthew and this summer's flooding in Louisiana serving as the latest examples.
Homebuyers need to be aware of the threat that flooding poses to their investment, as well as to their safety, and Realtors ® can play an important role in helping clients address that risk before disaster strikes. Melanie M. Graham of H2O Partners told an audience at the 2016 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Orlando, Florida, that "every building you will be working with has a need to be protected." Graham reminded Realtors ® in attendance that all property owners have the option to purchase flood insurance, not simply those in high-risk areas. In many cases, she added, that coverage is relatively affordable. Floods in lower risk zones are fairly common, according to Graham. She said 20 percent of National Flood Insurance Program claims occur in low- to moderate-risk zones, receiving one third of overall flood disaster assistance. Graham also reminded the audience that a disaster declaration alone may not result in a payout for property owners, calling the idea a myth. Instead, she said having a flood insurance policy in hand is critical to protecting property owners when disaster strikes. Maria Wells, chair of the National Association of Realtors ®' Insurance Committee, moderated the event. She reminded the audience of a Realtors ®' role in educating clients about flood risk to their property. Wells suggested that Realtors ® find a good insurance agent they can trust and get to know their state floodplain manager so they have a place to ask questions. "When we're working with our buyers, it's important to inform them of the devastation that can occur if they aren't covered," said Wells. She said of buyers in low- and moderate-risk areas who decide against purchasing flood insurance, "that's a really big mistake with what we know now."